As a school leader, Annette de la Llana is deeply dedicated to the needs of her students and her community. When she joined the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship in the fall of 2016, she was excited for the opportunity to develop professionally but did not realize how profoundly the experience would impact her.
As a fellow, she reflected on how inequity is perpetuated in her community. “The fact that immigrants and people of color (myself included in both categories) did not or do not know how to navigate the political landscape or know how decisions are made is indicative of how little access to decision-making, resources and information we actually have.”
Through the fellowship, she strengthened her belief that “the people most directly impacted by educational inequity should be involved every step of the way,” and began to reflect differently on her role in this work.
“In the past, I spent a lot of time being quiet and fearful about speaking up during times of conflict.” Over the course of the fellowship, she began to experience a change in how she showed up as a leader in her community.
“LPLF has transformed the way I see myself as an educator and as a leader. Throughout my time in the fellowship, students, colleagues, families and my own loved ones noticed the confidence, language and conviction in me.”
She also began to take action in new ways.
“I took a stand against oppressive practices in my community,” she said. Because of that, she was offered a role on the board at her charter school. She has also begun taking on new responsibilities — identifying policy changes that will combat inequity in Oakland, designing new professional development curriculum focused on social justice and connecting with other LEE members in her community to drive forward their work together.
“The LPLF fellowship changed me completely because of the skillful facilitation of the presenters and the support from my peers ... I made a commitment to never be silent again and have not stopped speaking up ever since.”
Annette de la Llana currently serves as a humanities teacher and Middle School Instructional Dean at North Oakland Community Charter School. Annette was a 2017 LEE Public Leaders Fellow.
Applications for the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship are currently being accepted. If you are an experienced LEE member with a track record of impact and an interest in social justice looking to transition into a new or different role in policy, advocacy, organizing or elected leadership, APPLY TODAY.